We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Joshua 4:6 NLT.
Last week, if you read “Faith and Our Story”, you read the back story of our marriage. It was bittersweet remembering that special time, but it also reminded me of God’s faithfulness. Darryl studied art at the University of Washington. He longed to be an artist, but after he got saved, the Lord asked him to set aside his painting. It was a hard request for him. In a typical Darryl fashion, he tried to do it, anyway! Until finally, he felt God even took away all his ideas to paint. He said, Ok, I will put away my idol. He used his creativity in many other ways, but he obeyed the Lord and was at peace for many years.
About thirty years later, he felt a release to paint again. His first paintings were gifts to our now grown children. Rosanna received a beloved beach scene. Elizabeth, a special painting he took from a photo taken on Mt. Baker, and our son received an interpretation of a space galaxy. They hang in their homes to this day. I whine, “where is mine?” I want one! Finally, in 2000, I received a huge, amazing painting of our life together. He put in every car we owned, every house we lived in and through symbolism, every part on the globe we ministered in together. Our children are represented, as well as our pets. It is truly a tribute of our life together. I am so grateful to have this reminder of God’s faithfulness. It is only one of my reminders (memorial stones) of His work in our lives.
God knew the Israelites would need reminding about His power, His plan and His purpose. Not just for the current generation, but for future generations. I have had many talks about the various parts of this painting with my grandchildren. Looking at it, I think about our mission trips to Ghana and England and Jamaica. It prompts me to pray for those special places. I have a watercolor, painted by my friend, Bonnie. When I see it, I often pray for their family. So these are not just decorations, but reminders of God’s loving gift of a friend. They are more than beautiful decorations; they are memorial stones.
I know I am blessed to have this wonderful painting, and maybe you are thinking, I don’t or can’t have anything like that. But look around your home. What are the memories attached to your photos, your knick knacks, your books or wall art? Many people use journals as memory stones. They are a wonderful way to commemorate God’s goodness. I’ve written before of how important the Lord’s Supper is to remind us of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. We all have short-term memories.
Too often, we focus on negative things. When left alone, our minds seem to forget the good things, and dredge up the wrong things. Therefore, we need to put into practice 2 Corinthians 10:5. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. ESV. If we take the time to use our “reminders” it will help us focus on Philippians 4:8. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. I heard my daughter praying Sunday during worship, “we know who you are, and we know what you can do. “, let us not forget who you are and what you can do. That is what these reminders help us do.
Father, we need help to not only take the time to set up memorial stones, but to actually use them to remember your goodness. Teach us how and when to think of You and Your goodness. Forgive us for forgetting the good things you have done, and focusing on our struggles. In Jesus’ Name, amen.